What’s happening with the ‘full growns’?


What’s happening with the ‘full growns’?


This last week-end, 19 February, saw the ‘fullgrown’ Barracudas (otherwise known as the ‘masters’) took part in the 2017 North West Regional Masters’ Championships in Blackpool.

The group proudly representing Barracudas consisted of: 

  • Gavin Simpson
  • Chris Hamer
  • Chris Horne
  • Matthew Burrows 
  • Ashley Leech
  • Michael Stott
  • Pam Lane
  • Carole Jepson
  •  Elaine Fitchie

Every member of the group medaled in individual and/or team events bringing home a total medal haul of:


5 Gold
9 Silver
7 Bronze
total of 15 PB’s were set on the day.

Pam Lane and Matt Burrows were competing in their first NW event in preparation for their participation in the World Transplant Games this June in Spain. 1 Both were keen to improve their times and refine their race craft as part of their build up for Spain and both came away with pleasing performances. Pam taking home a Bronze medal for the Mixed Medley Relay where she did the Backstroke leg. Matt had a busy programme of four individual events and relays. He took Bronze in the individual 50m Backstroke in a new PB, produced a PB in the 50m F/S and played a big part in the relay successes taking a further two Silver medals and knocking a bit more off his F/S PB.

The two Chris’s also had a successful day with Chris Hamer narrowly missing out on Gold in the 100m Breaststroke where it took a new NW Record to touch him out by .24 sec into Silver. Though he swears that last length was longer than 25m in his lane! In the 50m Breast it wasn’t quite as close but Chris took the Silver, again beaten by a new NW Record in what is a tough age group. He also led off in the F/S relay and earned himself a PB and a Silver medal. Chris Horne took a Bronze in the 100m F/S ahead of team mate Michael Stott and Silver in the 50m F/S in a personal best time. Chris also took two further Silver medals from the relays.

Another NW Masters novice, Ashley Leech had a busy schedule of events and started out with a Bronze medal in his first race of the day the 100m IM. He followed that success with a Silver medal in the 50m Fly then went one better with a Gold in the 400m F/S. The afternoon session saw him continue where he left off with a Silver in the 50m Breast. He secured a further two medals with his swims in the relays. Not a bad start there Ashley, well done!

Michael Stott also managed to turn out some good swims, despite having been out the night before - how does he do it! There was a nail biting swim when he and Gavin swam in the same heat of the 100m Breaststroke where Gavin shot off on the first 50m and streaked ahead, but Michael paced himself perfectly catching with every stroke. He ended up just .50 behind Gavin and took Silver medal in his own age group with Gavin finishing in fourth place in his age group. Michael went one step better in the 200m Breast where he took Gold. He also swam a PB in the 200m F/S and picked up two relay medals - Silver in Mens F/S relay and Bronze in the Mixed F/S relay. Not a bad effort that Michael off the back of a night out!

As well as having head-to-heads with Michael and managing his own busy programme of five events, Gavin Simpson was instrumental in making sure we all got to the start on time. A job well done Gavin. In terms of his own swims he took Gold in the 100m Backstroke and swam two individual PBs in 50m Back and 200m Breast. Gavin also did a PB in the Mixed F/S relay to help secure Bronze for the team.

Carole Jepson once again put in two great individual Breaststroke swims in PB’s. She took Gold in both the 50m and the 100m in new NW Region and All-comers Record times. Brilliant result Carole! Chris Hamer put it down to his expert advice to purchase a new racing suit - well whatever, it worked. Carole also got a Bronze in the Mixed F/S Relay with Michael, Gavin and Elaine.

As for me (Elaine Fitchie), I didn’t go out the night before and didn’t have a new racing suit, but I did manage a PB in the 50m Backstroke in what turned out, surprisingly, to be a NW Region Record time and a Silver medal. I was a fingertip away from Silver in the 50m Fly [but I’m sure I was in the same lane as Chris Hamer because somebody moved the end]. In the individual F/S I did a PB to take Bronze in a NW Region Record - largely due to the fact that I’m the only person my age currently competing from a NW club, but a record’s a record. My most pleasing swim of the day was the third leg of the F/S relay where I improved the PB set in the individual and we brought home a Bronze.